Nytex

In Brief: MTN May Abandon Nigerian Visafone Purchase 

MTN's Nigerian subsidiary is reportedly reconsidering its purchase of local ICT provider Visafone Communications after the regulator moved to block radio spectrum transfers. Visafone Communications holds a block of 800Mhz spectrum, which it uses for its CDMA based network, and which MTN had been testing for its LTE service.The company is considering walking away from the USD220 million deal if the regulator blocks the spectrum transfer which would allow MTN to retain Visafone's spectrum following the completion of the purchase.Earlier this year, Etisalat filed a lawsuit to block the takover on grounds which date back to the early days of licenses being handed out by the government.

*** HongKong: A pair of private equity firms have agreed a HKD9.5 billion (USD1.22 billion) deal to acquire Hong Kong telco Wharf T&T. MBK Partners and TPG Capital Management will each take a 50% stake in Wharf, which claims to be the territory’s second largest provider of business communications services. The consortium beat out rival bids from the likes of local telco Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) and private equity group KKR & Co. Wharf T&T is currently owned by local tycoon Peter Woo’s Wharf Holdings group.

***State-owned Nepal Telecom(NT)has become the first of the country’s cellcos to get the go-ahead to launch a 4G LTE service.The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has approved its application and has called on the operator to submit details of its rollout plan and proposed 4G tariffs.‘We will issue the 4G licence to the company after we have gone through the its work plan thoroughly and are satisfied with its strategy,’NTA spokesperson Min Prasad Aryal told The Himalayan Times.

***Pakistan based Zong has announced plans to deploy an additional 1,000 LTE enabled base stations by the end of this year, taking its total to over 6,000 base stations with 4G capability.China Mobile, which owns the Pakistan based mobile network operator has approved the funding,which will take its investment in the network to over USD300 million this year.Zong's 4G coverage currently reaches 100 cities across the country.

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